Dr. Janey Thornton is retiring as deputy undersecretary for food, nutrition and consumer services at the USDA. She had been appointed to the post in April 2009 after serving as school nutrition director for Hardin County (Ky.) Schools. She also served as president of the School Nutrition Association (SNA) during the 2006-2007 school year and as president of the School Nutrition Foundation.
"Janey has worked with great knowledge and passion," said USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack in a statement following the announcement. "She has throughout her distinguished career always, always put our children first. They have had no better advocate for a healthier start in life or healthier meals at schools than Janey. She will be sorely missed but we will be forever grateful for her service."
Thornton was an advocate for updated school lunch nutritional standards that were implemented in 2012 following passage of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 and defended them against criticisms from former colleagues in the SNA that they hurt nutrition program finances in many districts and contributed to declining school meal program participation.